Slow Roast Leg of Lamb

Slow Roast Leg of Lamb

This is a really delicious way to serve a whole leg of lamb. Despite the long cooking time, little effort is needed once the lamb is in the oven, you just need to check every now and then to make sure the meat is not drying out. The slow cooking time produces delicious ‘pulled’ meat that will fall off the bone with a fork. Perfect served with traditional Winter vegetables such as roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips or as a Summer lunch or dinner with new potatoes, salad and fresh bread rolls or pitta bread.


The recipe below is based on a 2.25 kg whole leg of lamb, serving two with plenty of leftovers or 4-6 people for dinner.

Vary your cooking times and quantities depending on the size of your own joint.

  • 2.25 kg Fresh Leg of Lamb
  • 2 tbsp Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
  • 8 sprigs Rosemary – washed
  • 300 ml water
  • Gravy – further details

You’ll also need good quality tin foil, as wide as the joint and enough to wrap around 2-3 times.

General Cooking Times

  • In a pre-heated oven, cook initially for 20 minutes at 220° c
  • Lower the oven to 160° c for 3½ hours
  • 20 minutes resting time after cooking – covered loosely with foil
  • Total cooking / resting time in a fan oven 3 hours 40 minutes to produced a medium to well done joint


  • Take the joint out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature
  • Pre-heat your fan oven to 220° c
  • Using a small sharp knife, make small punctures in the joint and insert the rosemary
  • In a large roasting tray with rack in place, place 2 large lengths of foil in a cross formation, large enough to wrap around the joint securely to retain juices for basting. Place the joint on the foil but do not wrap it
  • Pour a layer of gravy into the bottom of the foil, enough to cover the bottom without spilling out the sides of the foil
  • Carefully pour 200ml hot water into the base of the roasting tin to create the moisture in the oven and stop the meat from drying out
  • Place on the middle shelf and cook uncovered for 20 minutes at 220° c
  • After 20 mins, remove from the oven, baste the joint and then wrap loosely with the foil but so that the joint is fully enclosed
  • Lower the oven temperature to 160° c and slow cook for 3½ hours
  • Check the water level later in the cooking time – if the water has dried out, top up with boiled water (not cold) as required
  • Once the lamb is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes, covered loosely with foil


  • Large roasting tray with rack
  • Kitchen foil
  • Large serving dish

Top Tips

  • Cooking meat on the bone imparts extra flavour and acts as a heat conductor through the joint. It also keeps it warm whilst resting as the bones have absorbed the heat and then radiate through the joint whilst standing